A friend emails me: “Are the 600,000 imaginary jobs Obama promised yesterday in addition to the 2,000,000 imaginary jobs previously created or saved, or is the old number just inoperative?” Good question. Back in April the president said we already had saved 150,000 jobs. But throughout January and February administration officials promised to “save or create” 3.5 or 4 million jobs. Then they began to say 2 million. But these aren’t, you know, real jobs. They are something called “job equivalents.” (Do they bear the same relationship to “jobs” as “processed cheese” to “cheese”?) But the administration has already admitted the obvious –”it’s such a moving target” — that it’s all pretty meaningless. What isn’t meaningless is that unemployment is at 9.4% and we’ve lost 2.9 million jobs this year.
So the honest answer to my friend’s question: No one knows how many, if any, jobs we’ve “saved or created.” (By the way, do we deduct the 95,000 direct and indirect jobs to be lost with the closing of the F-22 production line?) But we have spent $787B plus interest to get them. If there are any.